Several major Vacation Bible School curriculums are using camping themes for 2010 such as LifeWay's Saddle Ridge Ranch (Drivn' Home Answers) for their "Music at Campfire Creek" zone. Also Group's Egypt: Joseph’s Journey VBS is the Holy Land Adventure from Group/ Cokesbury and Gospel Light's VBS SonQuest Rainforest is a jungle/rainforest theme.
Some of the 2009 VBS themes also used campfires: Cokesbury - Camp EDGE and Gospel Light - Son Rock Kids Camp, David C. Cook Wildwood Forest to name a few.
This article will show you how to take your themed Bible school to the next level. In this day of 3D and High Definition TV, children are expecting more than flannel graph and cutout pictures. The following ideas and indoor campfire will immerse them into your theme and ultimately allow them to hear your message of Truth.
Prepare to engage the senses:
Even before the kids come to your VBS, set them up with an intriguing invitation that smells like a campfire with burnt edges and the wood-fire smell of a real campfire. (Burn the paper over a real outdoor fire in your fire pit and rub the paper in the burnt wood) This will instantly prepare them for the event ahead as they open the envelope to the essence of great summer memories. (hopefully unless the got burnt playing with fire as a little tike) Have them bring flashlights, and sleeping bags.
Borrow a friends Jeep and strap a couple of camping props to the top and go around and pick up all of the kids at a pre-determined time and park your themed out Jeep right up on the church lawn before VBS.
Throughout the night make sure you have the smell of Smores baking in the oven
No camping is complete without the sounds of Cricketts, frogs, or a crackling campfire. Try looking at your library for sound effects cd's or visit Amazon.com for the sounds of a crackling fire.
The best element or centerpiece for your event should be a fake campfire similar to the one in the photo below as it will create a flicking orangee glow around the room and the dancing flames will mesmerize the kids (delivering them into your command to tell scary stories and sing happy campfire songs)
Build your own fake campfire if you are adventureous (see details) or check out one of these premade units at www.indoorcampfires.com.
An Edible Campfire (Miniature)
use a graham cracker base and with red frosting put a glob in the middle and build a "log teepee" by breaking up small pretzel sticks and leaning them against each other to create a cute little fire that you can put into your belly. (you can also add a hershey kiss in the center of it too.)
Create your own story by each person sitting around the campfire helps build a story by adding 2 sentences to the story as it is continued.